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Deputy Sheriff John Franklin Swann | Roane County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee Roane County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

Deputy Sheriff

John Franklin Swann

Roane County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch: Friday, February 8, 1924

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 37

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Apprehended

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Deputy John Swann and Constable James Jett, of the Roane County Constable's Office, were shot and killed as they attempted to raid an illegal liquor still seven miles north of Rockwood, Tennessee.

Several suspects were hiding in an ambush position in a barn. The suspects shot and killed both officers and attempted to conceal their bodies. The suspects tried to move the still to another location and then fled the scene. After several hours, the Roane County sheriff and Harriman City police chief went to the scene and discovered the two bodies.

Two suspects were eventually apprehended and charged in connection with the officer's murders. One was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was eventually released and died in Owosso, Michigan, on April 7, 1971. The other was convicted of second degree murder but the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed his case in 1927. On February 25, 1951, he was shot and killed at a cafe in Harriman, Tennessee.

Deputy Swan was survived by his wife and four children.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Constable James A. Jett
Roane County Constable's Office, Tennessee
End of Watch: Friday, February 8, 1924
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

It was always wonderful to hear my great grandmother, one of the four surviving children, tell this story about her father when I was a child. More recently my grandfather still shares this story . Much later in life, I wrote a paper in college detailing the event. Thank you for making this page available and for reminding me of a wonderful memory of my family.

Cassandra McKinzey (Farmer)
June 21, 2012


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